The Gaelic festival of Samhain was the inspiration for Samhaen in Eolyn's world.
Though Samhaen is somewhat different in the details from the corresponding holiday in the real world, the basic idea remains constant. As a girl, Eolyn celebrated Samhaen with singular devotion, as it was one of the few nights of the year when her dead family could reach across the void to visit her. She never failed to leave out food for them, including her brother's favorite snack, honey-sweetened bread.
Halloween snuck up on me this year. I haven't done that much at all in terms of decorating, but I have the candy ready and am looking forward to seeing all the neighborhood kids in costume tonight. I'm also very happy for the children in Kansas City that the big rain storm forecast for this week happened yesterday, instead of today.
I've been invited to participate in an exciting project with DGS Games. They are sponsoring an anthology based on the richly imagined world of Faelon. The project is being undertaken in coordination with the Dead Horse Society, the speculative fiction writers group where I got my start as an author. They are an amazingly talented group of writers, and this is going to be a great anthology.
As honored as I was by the invitation, I was a little hesitant to accept. I've been keeping a good pace on Daughter of Aithne, and I'm reluctant to pick up obligations that will cut into writing time meant for finishing the novel. More importantly, short stories are not my gift. I have two stories out there that I am very proud of ('Turning Point' and 'Creatures of Light'), the hard-won products of countless failed attempts at writing a story inside of 5,000 words. But practice makes perfect, and in the end I decided I'll never get good at writing short stories if I keep shying away from doing them. Also, the opportunity to work with such a fine group of writers was really too much to resist.
After mulling over different ideas for about a month, this week I started on writing my story for the anthology. The short will be set in the Kaliphate of Koronna, a prosperous region of cosmopolitan cities, with a rich culture that is more-or-less balanced in terms of gender relations. The protagonist of the story is an elderly woman, known only as 'Nana'. This is a first for me, to have a protagonist well into her later years, and it makes for some very exciting possibilities. Nana is a refugee, having fled to Koronna at a very young age for reasons she has never shared with her family, though they will be gradually revealed as the story progresses. We will also meet Nana's intriguing grand daughter, Mirella, and learn about her mysterious heritage and unique destiny.
It's all in the very early stages now, but if things pan out as I hope they will, this is going to be an awesome story. DGS' Faelon anthology is scheduled to be released in the latter half of 2014.
In other news, we are just days away from launching the new web site for Hadley Rille Books. And, sometime in the month of November I will, at last, do a full cover reveal for High Maga. The release date is closer than it seems; even though we will not see the book in print until April 4, 2014, the e-galleys are well underway and must be sent out for editorial review in the coming days.
Editorial reviews -- aaagh! The very thought stresses me out. Please wish me luck, keep a candle lit, say a few prayers or cast a few positive spells, whatever it is you do to send positive energy, now is the time to do it, so that High Maga will be well-received by the critics who will soon find her on their desk.
That's all I have for this week. Happy Halloween, and enjoy the weekend to come!